A sobering examination of the twin fundamentalisms that shape the
current administration internally - to say nothing of the one it's
supposed to be fighting.Compassionate conservatism? Nice, disarming
rhetoric, writes Unger (Center on Law and Security/New York Univ.;
House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the
World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties, 2004, etc.) - but merely a way
of reframing the argument so that "the entire political spectrum -
everyone from hardcore theocrats to liberal secularists - supported
policies that would aid the Christian Right." The gloves came off
as soon as Bush II entered the White House and turned operations
over to the very neoconservatives whom his father had largely
frozen out of power, writes Unger in a bit of psychodrama at the
opening of the book, giving the son's repudiation of the father
appropriately tragic undertones. The neocons - most of them former
leftists and most of them without any apparent religious beliefs -
made unlikely allies for the Christian right-wingers who entered
government in droves on Bush's ascension, but they had many
interests in common, including pressing the battle against Islam
and advancing the American empire. Most of these fundamentalists,
religious and political, notes Unger, have been idealists without
much grounding in the real world - one reason, perhaps, that all
band together in detesting Henry Kissinger, that master of
realpolitik. But, however ethereal their thinking, they have plenty
of real-world effects. Unger works much the same territory as Kevin
Phillips did in his American Theocracy (2005), and he turns in
plenty of news. One interesting bit: Katherine Harris, the Florida
secretary of state so instrumental in putting Bush in office in
2000, was an acolyte of the same fundamentalists who pushed Jerry
Falwell and company into secular politics - and, as an aside, she
helped see to it that more than a quarter of the votes cast in
Florida were not recounted, contrary to law.What next?
Fundamentalists and neocons alike have been thoroughly discredited
- but, Unger hints, there's still plenty of damage yet to come.
Armageddon, anyone? (Kirkus Reviews)
Conventional wisdom has it that the Middle East crisis is the
product of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West.
AMERICAN ARMAGEDDONframes that conflict as part of an entirely
different paradigm -- namely, the ongoing war between faith and
reason, between fundamentalisms (Islamic, Jewish, Christian) and
the modern, scientific, post-Enlightenment world. It tells the
story of how radical, neoconservative ideologues secretly formed an
alliance with the Christian Right in the Bush White House -- and
how, driven by delusional idealism and ideological and religious
zeal, they waged unilateral and pre-emptive war in the Middle East
as well as a domestic war against reason, science and civil
liberties. Extending the investigative reach deployed so
devastatingly in HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD, Craig Unger's
brilliant expose shows the real intentions -- and likely outcomes
-- of the Bush administration's true playbook.
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